Live from DMA05: This Worked, That Didn’t

Atlanta–Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something well is to study what crashed and burned. That was the premise of the Oct. 18 session “This Worked. That Didn’t.”

Carol Worthington-Levy, partner, creative services at San Rafael, CA-based Lenser, said that effective selling requires not only successful creative but also compassion for your prospect’s state of mind and time, knowledge of his needs and wants, a dedication to providing information in a clear and useful way, giving up outrageous creative that is misunderstood, and studying what works and what doesn’t.

Bill Eyre, director of advertising at Manchester, VT-based cataloger/retailer Orvis, gave real-life examples from the company’s12 titles to demonstrate changes it has made and the results from those changes. Adding promotional copy to the cover, for instance, increased sales per page 21%. Enlarging specific copy on the cover increased sales for that particular promotion even more. Selling a lifestyle, rather than a product, by augmenting a product shot with a complimentary stock photograph increases sales at Orvis as well. “That’s what your customers are looking for,” Eyre said.

On the Orvis Website, Eyre said, focusing on a single product rather than a collection increased online sales. And simply bulleting product copy and calling out features in an alternate view boosted sales per visit 97%.

Speaking from experience, Eyre said to avoid “slaying the dinosaurs” by updating product shots that look outdated but still perform strongly. “Ugly,” if effectively promoting an offer, typically outperforms “pretty,” he noted.

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